Virgie Okeson Virgie Adeline Okeson
1910 - 2003






FACTS AT A GLANCE
BORN: 23 May 1910, Turtle Lake, North Dakota
MARRIED1: 1929, Edgard Theodore A. "Ted" KUSLER
MARRIED2: "Red" VANDERGRIFT
MARRIED3: 1946, John WOODWORTH
DIED: 02 Sept 2003, Vancouver, Washington






Virgie Okeson, 1928

Virgie was the second of three children born to August and Hannah Okeson. She was born and raised in Turtle Lake, North Dakota.

Virgie married Ted Kusler, the son of a Turtle Lake merchant when she was 18 or 19 years old. Ted was a fine baseball player and in those days baseball was one of the main forms of entertainment. They had one child together, a daughter they named Betty. Ted started to drink heavily and the marriage ended in divorce about six years after it had begun. Virgie and Betty took the divorce as an opportunity to move to Eugene, Oregon in 1936 to be near August and Hannah, Virgie's retired parents.

Virgie married her second husband, Red Vandergrift, on the day before he shipped out to fight in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The marriage was annulled shortly thereafter.

John & Virgie Woodwoorth, 1946

Virgie then married her third husband, John Woodworth. John was a furnace salesman in Eugene and Virgie sold lingerie at Miller's Department Store. They were happy for many years and together they raised Betty.

When Betty was 19, she eloped with a young man named Darrell Ross. Darrell was a jealous man and moved Betty far from her family. They had one child, a daughter named Randi. Betty and Darrell divorced and Virgie and John assumed the task of raising Randi.

John Woodworth found God in the person of Ted Armstrong and became one of his disciples. John became increasingly fanatical and started giving the family's possessions to the church. The religious extremism fatally strained Virgie's third marriage, especially when Ted Armstrong convinced John that he was living in sin because Virgie had been married previously. And so Virgie went through another painful divorce.

When Randi turned 15, she moved out to be closer to her mother, Betty, who was then living in Portland. Virgie soon moved to nearby Vancouver, Washington so as to remain close to her family. Virgie's first great-grandchild was born in 1966 and Virgie helped with the babysitting.

Virgie became a very private person in her later years, enjoying the company and companionship of her immediate family but few others. She lived to be 93 years old, having outlived her beloved Randi, and both her brothers.

View the Okeson Family Photoalbum, 1900-1962

HUSBANDS of Virgie Okeson:
   1. Edgard Theodore A. "Ted" KUSLER
        1905-1985
   2. "Red" VANDERGRIFT
   3. John WOODWORTH
        1914-1984

PARENTS of Virgie Okeson:
    August OKESON

     1877-1951
    Hannah Theodora ECKLUND
     1888-1962

CHILDREN of Virgie and Ted KUSLER:
   1. Betty Lew (ROSS)
        1929-2013

CHILDREN of Virgie and "Red" VANDERGRIFT:
   None

CHILDREN of Virgie and John WOODWORTH:
   None



OKESON FAMILY HOMEPAGE


References:
  The Family History As I Heard It, by Nora Fayme Okeson
  correspondence with Marne Evans
  1930 U.S. Federal Census for Lake Williams ND
  1940 U.S. Federal Census for Eugene OR
  Social Security Death Index